Project to start an eating disorders center in Vancouver looking for public support

Eating disorders like bulimia and anorexia are all too common, but unfortunately treatment options are not. Now a Vancouver organization is hoping to change that, but they need public’s help to make their vision come true.

The not-for-profit group “Project True” is hoping to open a much needed day program where men and women with disordered eating can go to get the help and support they need.

Project president Angela Rinaldis has has been living with anorexia since she was 16. When she reached 25, she took control of her fear.

“I feared fat so much that I used to wear gloves to move things around in the fridge,” says Rinaldis. “I did not want to touch the butter or oil, because I thought it would actually seep into my skin and make me fat.”

Story continues below advertisement

At her slimmest Angela weighed 88 pounds. She’s 5 foot 8 and a half.

Now at 32 years of age, she’s a successful lawyer, with a dream to help others with eating disorders and she’s doing this through Project True.

“A lot of people either have suffered with an eating disorder themselves, or at least know someone who has. It is anything from extreme cases of anorexia or bulimia to just not being happy with the way your body is, and having low self-esteem.”

But to bring project true to the public, Angela and her team need some help.

They’re hoping British Columbians will vote for them online through the Aviva Community Fund.

The groups with the most votes win a cash prize. Rinaldis is hoping for $150,000 to create an eating disorder day treatment centre.

“A place where experts with experience in eating disorders can be under one roof. And where people don’t have to do what I had to do when I came out – I did a lot of searching,” says Rinaldis.

Story continues below advertisement

According to Project True, there are only five hospital beds in B.C. right now dedicated to patients with eating disorders who are in critical condition.

“Unfortunately, we don’t have not only the treatment facility, but also the ‘treaters’ in B.C. with knowledge about how treat these disorders,” says UBC Professor of Psychiatry Dr. Laird Birmingham.

Eating disorders consume the lives of both men and women in British Columbia.

Every year, 1000 new cases are diagnosed.

And there is evidence those who have access to daily help whether in person or on line will stay on the path to good health.

To vote for Project True, go here.

The voting closes on November 5.